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02/22/2006 2:26 PM ET
World Baseball Classic championship trophy unveiled
Tournament ambassador Tommy Lasorda does the honors in San Juan, Puerto Rico
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
The World Baseball Classic championship trophy was created by Tiffany & Co.
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The Championship Trophy for the inaugural World Baseball Classic was unveiled for the first time today at a press conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The trophy, which will be presented to the winner of the World Baseball Classic after the tournament's Final at PETCO Park in San Diego, California on Monday, March 20, was created by Tiffany & Co.

World Baseball Classic Tournament Ambassador Tommy Lasorda displayed the trophy in San Juan, the only city with the distinction of hosting two rounds of tournament pool play. "I am pleased to unveil this award for the first time in such a great international baseball city like San Juan," said Lasorda, who has helped to spread awareness and promote the tournament globally. "I am anxious to see which team will take home this fine piece of hardware and very excited to get the World Baseball Classic started in Tokyo next week."

The sterling silver trophy stands 25-inches tall and weighs thirty pounds. It took Tiffany & Co. master artisans more than 200 hours to create the piece. The design, inspired by the World Baseball Classic logo, features a 'global baseball,' with longitude and latitude lines and vermeil stitching of a baseball, as its centerpiece. The ball grows from a four-tiered diamond-shaped base, representing the four rounds of the tournament, and broadens into the signature logo collar, comprised of four separate elements, representing the four pools made up of the 16 teams participating in the inaugural event.

Tiffany & Co. also has the distinction of creating the Commissioner's Trophy (given annually to the World Series Champion), the World Series MVP Trophy, the All-Star Home Run Derby Trophy, and the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award.

The World Baseball Classic, a 16-team tournament sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), will run from March 3* - 20. The inaugural event will feature many of the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories for the first time ever. The 16 teams invited to participate have been divided into four pools of four teams for the first round of play. The four Round 1 pools will be play in a round robin format at venues in Japan (Tokyo Dome - Tokyo), Puerto Rico (Hiram Bithorn Stadium - San Juan) and the United States (Chase Field - Phoenix, Arizona; Scottsdale Stadium - Scottsdale, Arizona; The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex - Orlando, Florida). Round 2 will feature two pools of four teams in a round robin format and is scheduled to be played in San Juan, Puerto Rico (Hiram Bithorn Stadium) and Anaheim, California (Angel Stadium). The Semi-Finals and Final will be played at PETCO Park in San Diego, California on March 18 and 20, respectively.

The World Baseball Classic will feature a bracket-style format with the 16 teams competing in four groups: Pool A - China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea; Pool B - Canada, Mexico, South Africa and United States; Pool C - Cuba, Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico; Pool D - Australia, Dominican Republic, Italy and Venezuela.

World Baseball Classic, Inc. is a company created at the direction of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the International BAseball Federation (IBAF), is supported by MLB, the MLBPA , Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other leagues and players from around the world.

*Tournament begins at 11:30 AM (local time) in Tokyo, Japan on Friday, March 3.

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